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Josh’s own story

I wish I could say that my story has a deeply romantic, truly meaningful beginning, middle and end. But it doesn’t. 

November 30, 2011– I tested negative for HIV via a blood test. And my life continued.

December 18, 2011– I had intercourse with someone who believed they were negative and there was 5 minutes that a condom wasn’t used. (Not to gross you out girls, but neither of us even “finished)

And my life continued.

January 2, 2012– I developed a fever and flu-like symptoms. After going to the corner urgent care, I was instructed that I need to be tested for Acute HIV Infection. My heart stopped and my life seemed to end.

January 9, 2012– I did a blood test for HIV.

January 13, 2012– I did a confirmation test for HIV.

January 24, 2012– I received the information and result that I was infected with HIV-1.

January 24, 2012– I flew home to tell my mom, stepdad, father, stepmom, & sister that I had been infected with HIV.

January 25, 2012– I called the person that I believed was positive and didn’t know it yet.  (Hard call to make)

January 27, 2012– That person was confirmed as being HIV-infected.

Today… I’m still Josh. I’m still living. You still be YOU!

 

DID I expose anyone new?  NO. (If I had, I would have immediately called them.)

IS my infection a punishment from God? NO. (Get real. Jesus and I are tight.)

DO I have to inform anyone? In Tennessee, only any sexual partner that I may have sexual contact with. Otherwise, I could face criminal and civil penalty.

AM I scared? NO. I’m conscience of this chronic-disease and I’m informed like never before.

AM I dirty? I’ve done some dirty things, but NO I am not dirty before being infected and now that I am infected. So, quit calling positive folks ‘dirty.’ I have always taken multiple showers a day. (I know green folks… hate me) I am clean. I am informed. I am HIV-positive. I’m still Josh.

DO I take medication? Not yet. Not sure when I’ll choose to begin. Right now, my T4 count is high. So no need.

CAN I still have sex? Duh. The disease didn’t castrate me. However, I have to inform any potential sex partner before engaging in sex. Honestly to date, I haven’t really wanted to go down the sex-road. However, not having sex is not a punishment I’m giving myself. It’s a choice I’m making about my needs right now.

ANY regrets? I wish I didn’t think I was invincible. Hindsight is always 20/20. But now, I’m able to meet amazing folks and make connections much deeper than I would have before. It’s actually quite inspiring.